Feedback we’ve seen in the ResidentPortal app is providing unique insight into some of your residents’ biggest pet peeves. The bad news: if you’re not meeting expectations you may soon be dealing with an unnecessary vacancy. The good news: often a simple settings adjustment can resolve the issue and keep residents happily in place.
The feedback your residents are leaving in the ResidentPortal app is understandably limited to the kinds of services they expect the app to provide. But an analysis of their messages identified a handful of expectations that renters feel strongly about, including:
Payment Options: When a resident downloads the ResidentPortal app they have basic expectations about what tools and transactions it should make available to them. If you haven’t activated ResidentPay, your residents let us know. The ability to quickly and easily make a rent payment is one of the basic expectations renters bring to the app, and they are not happy when they don’t have the option. Solution: Activate ResidentPay and start collecting rent faster and more easily than ever before.
Charges without Itemization: Residents are often paying more than just rent through ResidentPortal. Their monthly charges may include fees for rent, utilities, storage, parking, pet fees…the list could go on and on. Which means that the balance due may fluctuate from month to month. Understandably, when that balance is displayed, residents want to know exactly what they’re paying for and why. Solution: Make sure charge codes (and charge groups) are consistent with the charges found in the lease, and use visibility settings to allow residents to see why they owe what they owe.
Payments Blocked on Certain Days: Shutting down payments on certain days of the month is a time-honored tradition in accounting circles and serves the purpose of allowing your staff to close the month with a minimum of fuss and bother. Newsflash: the residents who provide your property’s revenue don’t care about that. They see you shutting down payments as a major pain-in-the-butt restriction that limits their ability to pay rent when it most makes sense to them. Solution: Avoid blocking payments at all! Instead, leverage system capabilities for late fees, certified funds, individual profile restrictions, evictions, and custom period advancements, so rules intended to affect “problem” residents don’t inadvertently punish your good residents.
All-or-Nothing Requirements: Does your property require full balance payments? What would happen if you didn’t? Well, for starters, you’d have happier residents. We’re not suggesting that you just let residents pay whatever they feel like, but incorporating some flexibility into their payment options could go a long way toward building goodwill for that resident who, for example, wants to pay half of his rent every paycheck instead of waiting until the end of the month and hoping there’s enough in the account to cover the balance. Solution: Revisit your payment settings. By waiving the roommate balance requirement, allowing roommates to split payments, and enabling bi-monthly payments, you can maintain full balance requirements while offering residents more flexibility.
Unresponsive Maintenance: So you’ve worked out your payments settings and everyone’s happy. What about work orders? Renters using the ResidentPortal app expect to be able to quickly and easily report maintenance issues, and when they do, they like to know that someone’s paying attention. Solution: Make sure maintenance requests are activated in ResidentPortal, and route incoming requests directly to your maintenance staff.
Entrata’s webinar this month outlined these topics in detail and provided information about simple adjustments to resident and payment settings that can go a long way toward meeting your residents’ expectations and (bonus) making your job easier as well. Listen at your convenience, or contact your CSM for more information.